Planet Rugby

Preview: Munster v Gloucester

18th October 2013 13:25

Share:

Peter O Mahony Munster 2012

Back for Munster: Peter O┐Mahony

Gloucester will look to back up victory at home last week as they visit Thomond Park to face Munster on Saturday.

While Gloucester travel to Ireland on the back of a morale-boosting win over Perpignan at Kingsholm, the boot was on the foot for Munster as they let a lead slip late on in Edinburgh.

Defeat means there is even greater emphasis on this next encounter, with Munster knowing that another shock loss would leave them with a mountain to climb to avoid missing out on a quarter-final spot for just the second time in 17 seasons.

Munster have home advantage well and truly in their favour, though, with only Leicester and Ulster having triumphed at Thomond Park in the history of the Heineken Cup.

Gloucester not won away from home in the Heineken Cup since 2011, against Connacht. But the Cherry and Whites have won five of their last six Heineken Cup games against Irish clubs, losing only to Munster in the 2007/08 quarter-finals.

Munster have lost their last two Heineken Cup games; they have not lost three consecutive games since 2007.

At home, Munster have won 13 of their last 14 matches in the Heineken Cup. This will be the sixth meeting between these clubs in the tournament. All four pool meetings to date have produced home victories.

Munster Head Coach Rob Penney has made a number of changes to his starting XV.

The one change to the back-line sees Johne Murphy take the place of the injured Simon Zebo on the wing and in the pack Penney introduces Damien Varley, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan and captain Peter O'Mahony.

Murphy, who travelled as a backs reserve last weekend, comes straight in to the starting team as does O'Mahony, who was ruled out of the Edinburgh clash.

James Coughlan makes way for O'Mahony on Saturday and Donnacha Ryan shifts to blind-side replacing the injured Paddy Butler.

Donncha O'Callaghan resumes his second row partnership with Paul O'Connell as Varley and Botha join Kilcoyne in the front row. Cathal Sheridan takes the place of Duncan Williams in the replacements.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be a memorable occasion for Gloucester second row Will James, as he skippers the side on his 150th competitive appearance for the club.

The Welsh international captains a side which retains just three players from last weekend's starting line up - Jonny May, Ryan Mills and Mike Tindall, as Director of Rugby Nigel Davies lives up to his promise to rotate the squad.

"When the draw was made, this one stood out and we're looking forward to it. There's a rich history between the two clubs," said Davies.

"It's a huge challenge for us. They're coming off the back of, what would be for them, a bad loss and I'm sure they're going to come out all guns blazing, which they always do at Thomond Park anyway.

"It was good to go there in preseason for the experience, although the crowd will be up a few levels on what we experienced then for that friendly. But we've had a feel for the place and the players will know what to expect in terms of the stadium etc."

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony (capt), 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 James Coughlan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley,

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Jonny May, 10 Jonny Bentley, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Will James (capt), 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawiduik, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Daniel George, 17 James Gibbons, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 James Hudson, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Rob Cook,

Date: Saturday, 19 October
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 18.00 BST (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058